Naveen Patnaik to be elected leader of BJD legislature party on May 26

The 123-member strong Biju Janata Dal legislature party will meet on May 26 to formally elect Naveen Patnaik as the new leader, paving his way to becoming the chief minister of Odisha for the fifth time in a row.

BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said after the election of 72-year-old Patnaik as leader of the Legislature Party, a decision on the possible date of swearing-in would be taken. The party is toying with the idea of holding the swearing-in on either on May 27 or 29.

Meanwhile, Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal on Friday accepted the resignation of chief minister Naveen Patnaik and his Council of Ministers to enable him to form a new council of ministers.

The governor requested Patnaik and his present council of ministers to continue in office till the new council of ministers is sworn in, a spokesperson in the Governor’s office said.

Of the 146 Assembly constituencies that went to polls, BJD got 112 seats, five short of what it won in 2014. But its voteshare went up by 1 per cent more from 43.35 in 2014 to 44.7 per cent in 2019. In comparision, the BJP made spectacular gains in the Assembly segment winning 23 seats, up from 10 in 2014. Its percentage of votes went up by 14.5 per cent as it notched up 32.5 per cent of the votes polled.

In Lok Sabha polls, BJP notched up the maximum gains winning 8 seats, up from 1 in 2014. Its vote percentage increased to 38.4 per cent from 21.5 per cent. The BJD on the other hand lost 8 seats from what it had won in 2014. Its vote share in Lok Sabha polls dropped to 42.8 per cent this year from 44.1 per cent in 2014 polls.

The Congress, meanwhile, fared miserably securing 9 seats, down from 16 seats it won in 2014. Its vote share plummeted too, from 25.7 per cent in 2014 to 16.1 per cent in 2019. The party which was the main opposition in the state since 2000, has given way to the BJP.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist got one seat and an independent candidate won one each. Election to the Patkura Assembly seat has been postponed following the death of BJD candidate Bed Prakash Agarwala.

Patnaik, who will become the chief minister for the 5th term, joins the league of former Bengal CM Jyoti Basu and Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling who are five-term chief ministers. Patnaik, who contested two seats for the first time, won from his pocketborough Hinjili in Ganjam district and Bijepur in Bargarh district.

First Published:
May 24, 2019 23:13 IST

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